17 May 2009

Missing girl's parents to sue ex-police officer

12:38 pm on 17 May 2009

The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann say they will sue the former Portuguese police officer who handled the investigation into her disappearance.

Kate and Gerry McCann are to take action for defamation over comments made in the media by Goncalo Amaral after their daughter vanished in the Algarve resort of Praia da Luz on 3 May 2007.

The McCanns say the legal action is over Mr Amaral's claims that Madeleine is not only dead, but that her parents were somehow involved in concealing her body.

They say the claims are entirely unfounded and grossly defamatory.

The couple is taking the action in a bid to prevent further publication of what they called Amaral's "deeply offensive" book, The Truth of the Lie, and a TV documentary he made.

They say they want to stop any negative effect that the "absurd and deeply hurtful claims" may be having on the ongoing search for their daughter.

Portuguese police are no longer actively investigating the case.